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March 1986

Adequate Follow-up for Treated Basal Cell Carcinoma-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Emory University St Joseph's Doctors' Bldg II, Suite 330 5667 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30342; Department of Medicine/Dermatology UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA 90064

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(3):243-244. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660150019003

In Reply.—  We wish to thank Dr William McDaniel for his interest in our article,1 which appeared in the November 1984 Archives. We would like to take this opportunity to answer the issues raised in his letter.First, regarding the adequacy of five-year followup in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, it is obviously impossible to categorically state what the proper length of follow-up time should be. We have seen, as has Dr McDaniel, "recurrences" more than five years after treatment. In addition, any other malignancy may recur after five years. The question is, "What is the percentage gain in following up cases for more than five years?"Dr McDaniel offers statistics of his own that support the maximum time interval for which patients should be followed up subsequent to treatment of basal cell carcinoma. He states that four, or maybe five, patients out of 746 who were treated

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